Career Directory
Agri-Tourism

Career Paths in Agri-Tourism

Regional Coordinator
Regional Agri-Tourism Coordinator – facilitate an entire region’s farming operations’ agri-tourism opportunities

What is Agri-Tourism?

Agri-Tourism is all about connecting farmers/growers, and the farming experience to visitors, not only to educate visitors about farming but also to showcase positive changes in farming communities. Agri-Tourism South Africa supports these successes and acts as the link between farmer members and visitors (local and foreign).

Where can I study Agri-Tourism?

Degree or diploma in Agriculture and preferably a Diploma in Tourism. Knowledge about the agricultural industry and contacts within will be advantageous.

Agronomy (crops) and horticultural production

What is Agronomy ?

Agronomy or crop production is the cultivation of crops and vegetables on open-field scale, or under natural rainfall, or controlled irrigation conditions. Technology such as production under protection has become a fast-growing resource-protection and invasion control methodology.

Horticultural production is the science of cultivation of fruits, nuts, vegetables, ornamental plants, including landscape design and development, landscape restoration, soil management and garden design. Horticulturists have knowledge on technologies, and skills to grow produced plants intensively for human food and non-food uses. Scope of work involves plant propagation, cultivation with the aim of improving plant growth, yields, quality, nutritional value, and resistance to insects, diseases, and environmental stresses. Technology such as production under protection has become a fast-growing resource-protection and invasion-control methodology.

Career Paths in Agronomy and Horticulture

Technical

Plant Pathologist at agricultural input supply companies, commercial farms and nurseries, identifying pests and diseases, and finding solutions. Development & Research, i.e. biological control of pests and diseases.

Commercial

Integrate further down in the supply chain i.e. Category management at retailers or vegetable/fruit suppliers, technical marketing and sales

Where can I study Agronomy and Horticulture?

BSc Agric Agronomy (Plant Production), Horticulture, Soil Science at

Animal, Poultry, Game: Production, Nutrition and Health

Career Paths in the Animal Industry

Animal husbandry

Animal husbandry (farm, feedlot)

Animal products

Animal products (i.e. dairy products, skins)

Animal feeds

Animal feeds (animal feed production companies)

Animal health & Pharmaceutical industry

Animal health & Pharmaceutical industry (pharmaceutical companies)

Research institutions

Research institutions (i.e. the Agricultural Research Council)

Nature conservation institutions

Nature conservation institutions (nature reserves, game farms)

Consultancy and technical advisory services

Cconsultancy, agricultural co-operations or private companies

Educational institutions

Educational institutions (tertiary training institutions)

Semen & embryo collection and artificial insemination companies

Semen & embryo collection and artificial insemination companies (i.e. Taurus, Vries-it)

Breeding organisations

Breeding organisations (breeders’ societies, SA Studbook)

Agricultural development institutions

Agricultural development institutions (i.e. NGOs, Department of Agriculture)

Legislative/Regulative institutions

Legislative/Regulative institutions (Department of Agriculture)

What it is

Animal science involves all aspects of animal production and animal products, including husbandry of livestock species (cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, poultry, ostriches and horses) and the products derived from them (meat, milk & dairy products, wool, mohair, eggs, skin & leather and feathers). Animal science encompasses three basic disciplines, i.e. breeding, physiology and nutrition, and secondary animal product sciences i.e. meat, dairy, wool, etc.

Where to study?

A 4-year B.Sc.-degree in animal science where animal anatomy and -physiology, monogastric (pigs, poultry, dogs and cats) and ruminant (cattle, sheep and wildlife) nutrition, breeding and management are studied at a graduate level

Plant Pathology

Career Paths in Plant Pathology

Technical

Plant Pathologist at agricultural input supply companies, commercial farms and nurseries, identifying pests and diseases, and finding solutions. Development & Research, i.e. biological control of pests and diseases.

Commercial

Integrate further down in the supply chain i.e. Category management at retailers or vegetable/fruit suppliers, technical marketing and sales

Where can I study Plant Pathology?

 

What is Plant Pathology?

Plant Pathology is defined as the study of the organisms and environmental conditions that cause diseases in plants, the mechanisms by which this occurs, the interactions between these causal agents and the plant (effects on plant growth, yield and quality), and the methods of managing or controlling plant disease. It also draws on knowledge from other scientific fields such as mycology, microbiology, virology, biochemistry, bio-informatics, etc.

Food & Science Technology, Consumer Science

What is Food Science and Technology?

Food Science and Technology encompasses the processing of raw agricultural produce into food products that are acceptable for human consumption. A Food Scientist has the skills necessary to convert these raw materials into the safe, attractive food products and beverages available on our supermarket shelves. Food Scientists constantly seek to improve existing techniques by which new products are developed, processed, packaged, shelf-life extended, stored and transported.
Food Science is an exciting field of study that applies sciences such as Chemistry, Biochemistry and Microbiology to discover ways to improve the taste, nutrition and quality of the world’s food supply. You will also learn about food preservation and processing, food analysis, product development, food packaging and the implementation of food quality and safety systems.

Career Paths in Food Science

Technical

Production in a food processing environment, quality management, implementation of food safety standards, research & development of new products, packaging technology, fruit and vegetable pre-packing/packhouse operations, Forensic Science (Food fraud, food adulteration and tampering, food defence and threats)

Commercial

Category managers at retailers, technical sales, marketing and sales management, general management

Where can I study Food Technology?

Breeding and Genetics

What is Breeding and Genetics?

Plant breeding is the science of changing the traits of plants to produce desired qualitative and quantitative characteristics. It improves the quality of nutrition in products for humans and animals, and it improves pest and disease resistance. Plant breeders strive to create a specific outcome of plants and potentially new plant varieties.
Animal breeding is the process of the selective mating of animals with desirable genetic traits, with the aim to genetically improve and/or conserve a population (e.g. breed or herd) of animals, including improvement of growth rate and yield of products such as milk, meat or eggs.

Career Paths in Breeding and Genetics

Breeding

Plant Breeding, Animal Breeding, Research, Forensic Science, Food fraud, Food adulteration and tampering, Food defence and threats.

Where can I study Breeding and Genetics?

 

Plant breeding: Universities of Stellenbosch, Free State, Pretoria
Animal Science and breeding: Universities of Pretoria, Stellenbosch, Free State, Natal, Fort Hare, Venda and The North, where a 4-year B.Sc.-degree in animal science is offered. Animal anatomy and -physiology, monogastric (pigs, poultry, dogs and cats) and ruminant (cattle, sheep and wildlife) nutrition, breeding and management are studied at a graduate level.

Inspection and Auditing

What it is

Most agricultural products are regulated in order to ensure safe food and protect the environment. Companies have to comply with various food safety and quality assurance standards as a prerequisite to supply retailers and exporters. Trained and experienced auditors and inspectors are high in demand in the agricultural and food industry. Examples of food safety standards: GLOBALGAP, FSSA

Auditing and Inspection Bodies

GLOBALG.A.P.
GLOBALG.A.P. stands for Good Agricultural Practice, and GLOBALG.A.P is the worldwide standard that assures it. GLOBALG.A.P is a worldwide organization with a crucial objective: safe, sustainable agriculture worldwide. They set voluntary standards for certification of agricultural products around the globe
PPECB
The Perishable Products Export Control Board (PPECB) is an independent service provider of quality certification and cold chain management services for producers and exporters of perishable food products
PROKON
Prokon renders an inspection service to the potato and other fruit industries on fresh produce markets with the emphasis on quality assurance, product management and grading, as well as an inspection service on potatoes at distribution centres, wholesalers and retailers. The inspections at the distribution centres are conducted in terms of an agreement signed between the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and Prokon.

What and where to study

A B.Sc. Agric, BSc Food Science or any other relevant degree supplemented with auditing training. At least three years of experience in the industry are necessary to be accepted in auditing training programmes. Inspectors should have a National Diploma in Food Technology or related agricultural field.

Career Paths

Food Safety Auditor
 
Organic Certificate Auditor
 
Quality Inspector
 

General Management

What it is

A general manager takes overall responsibility for managing of all aspects of an operational business, ensuring that the company is profitable. The general manager is responsible for effective planning, delegating, coordinating, appointment of staff and overall productivity.

What and where to study

BSc Agric degree in field of preferred specialisation, and an additional degree in commercial studies, i.e. B.Com. Business Management or Masters in Business Administration (MBA)

Career paths

Positions such as farm management, packhouse and operational management, can lead after a few years’ experience to a general management position, and eventually Managing Director or CEO.

Information Technology

What it is

Information technology is a broad term encompassing computer systems, networks and the effective usage thereof. Applications of IT are continuously introduced in the agricultural sector, leading to major advantages such as increased productivity, optimum data usage, improving communication and administration. ERP systems (Enterprise Resource Planning) allow organisations to integrate most parts of the business in one automated system, in order to increase effectivity and productivity.

What and where to study

Degrees such as B.Eng. Computer Engineering, B.IT Information Technology, BSc Information Technology or B.Eng (Industrial Engineering) at leading Universities are a good start. For more IT support related jobs, a diploma in IT support can also be useful.

Prophetize
Company specializing in ERP Systems for fresh produce

Career Paths

IT Technician
IT Support Adviser
ERP Manager
IT Systems Engineer
Network Maintenance Technician
Mobile Application Developer

GIS and Remote Sensing

What are GIS and Remote Sensing?

GIS technology integrates common database operations, such as query and statistical analysis, with maps. GIS manages location-based information and provides tools for display and analysis of various statistics, including population characteristics, economic development opportunities, and vegetation types.

 

What and where to study?

Currently, there are few undergraduate remote sensing programs. A B.Sc. Geography with post-graduate specialisation in GIS and Remote sensing is required. These qualifications are available at the University of Pretoria, Johannesburg, Cape Town, and other leading South African tertiary institutions.

 

 

Application of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing

Crop production forecasting
 
Assessment of crop progress or damage
 
Horticulture/cropping systems analysis
 
Crop yield modelling and estimation
 

 

 

 

Identification and planning of planting & harvesting dates
 
Climate change monitoring
 
Identification of pests and diseases
 
Soil and water resource mapping
 

 

 

 

Career Paths

Geographer
Data Scientist
GIS Engineer
Remote Sensing Specialist

Helpful links:

The Geo-Information Society of South Africa – www.gissa.org.za

Plant nutrition, plant protection

More information

Plant nutrition is the study of the chemical elements and compounds necessary for healthy plant growth and plant metabolism.
Plant protection is the science of managing plant/crop diseases, weeds and other pests that damage agricultural crops. Biological control is the use of living organisms to keep pest populations under control, below damaging levels.

 

Career Paths

Entomology
Scientific study of insects
Plant Pathology
Scientific study of diseases in plants caused by pathogens (infectious organisms) and environmental conditions (physiological factors).
Nematology
Scientific study of nematodes or roundworms
Acarology
The scientific study of mites and ticks
Viticulture & Oenology/Wine Making

What is Viticulture & Oenology/Wine Making

Viticulture is the science of vine-growing and grape harvesting
Oenology is the science of wine and winemaking

Helpful Links

VINPRO
 

Landscape Architecture

What it is

Landscape Architecture is the design profession concerned with the design, planning, management and stewardship of the land. … The goal is to achieve environmental, social or aesthetically pleasing spaces by investigating existing social, ecological and geological conditions in the landscape and includes the design of outdoor areas, landmarks, and structures to achieve environmental, social-behavioural, or aesthetic outcomes.

What to study

Degree in Landscape Architecture. To register as a professional Landscape Architect further studies in Honours and Masters degree are necessary. An interest and knowledge of different plant varieties will be of help.

Industry Organisations

ILASA – Institute of Landscape Architects South Africa
SACLAP – Handle Professional registrations

Career paths

Work as Landscape Architect at a landscape architectural practice, or start your own practice after registering as a Professional Landscape Architect. Opportunities exist in various National Government departments or on local government level, i.e. Municipalities. Several large architectural practices also employ in-house Landscape Architects to provide clients with a full spectrum of services.

Turfgrass Science and Management is an applied plant science field of study that focuses on the production and maintenance of grassed areas, including home lawns, parks, golf courses, and other sport surfaces.

BC Landscapes: Training & Consultation

 Sports turf skills development

Technical Sales

What it is

Technical sales is a sales position which is field or technical specific, in other words, somebody who is knowledgeable in their field who sells their product to clients, while providing technical support.

What and where to study

Preferably a B.Sc. degree in Agriculture or Food Science, with experience in sales or good communication and inter-personal skills. Additional courses in sales and marketing are recommended. Exceptional strong interpersonal skills are required.

Career Paths

Most fields in agriculture requires technical sales people, as well as in the food industry, i.e. a Food Scientist selling artificial flavouring, while providing technical advice to their customers.

Packhouse logistics, cooling & transportation

What it is

A packhouse is the facility where fresh fruit and vegetables are packed prior to distribution to commercial outlets. In order to ensure the retention of freshness of these fruit and vegetables, it is extremely important for packhouse logistics to be effective and efficient. A packhouse logistics manager will ensure that products are packed to order, specifications are met, cold storage efficiency, execution of deliveries, etc.

What and where to study

A degree in logistics supplemented by a degree in agriculture or business development, or a degree in Industrial Engineering. Technical qualification for cold room maintenance and installation.

Career Paths

Packhouse Manager
Logistics Manager
Room Installer
Cold Storage Technology
Maintenance Technician
Procurement, buying/purchasing

What it is

Procurement is mostly about ensuring the company has the required raw materials to produce their products. In this field, business-supplier relations are very important, as well as good organisational skills to ensure that sufficient amounts of required materials are purchased. A good procurement officer can organise the necessary materials while trying to minimize the costs of these materials.

What and where to study

B.Sc degree in field of interest, i.e. Horticulture, Plant Production or Animal Science Com, or B.Com degree in Supply Chain Management.

Career Paths

Procurement Specialist
Retail Buyer

Finance, banking and crop insurance

What it is

Several banks and financial institutions provide agricultural commercial services, i.e. financing to commercial farms and agri-businesses. Crop insurance is a necessary part of the agriculture industry and can protect farmers against natural disasters such as droughts, floods and hail, as well as losses in revenue from changes in the prices of agricultural commodities.

Agricultural Economists
On micro level: focus on issues related to use of resources in the production, processing, distribution, retail and consumption of agricultural products.
On macro level: focus on bigger picture – how agriculture and agribusinesses affect local and world economies and be part of the process of events taking place in other sectors affect these firms, and vice versa. Using prediction models to advise the agricultural industry on future trends. Crop insurers calculate the risk associated in certain areas for certain crops.

Helpful links:
Standard Bank AgriBusiness – www.standardbank.co.za
ABSA Agribusiness – www.absa.co.za
FNB Agribusiness – www.fnb.co.za
Landbank – www.landbank.co.za
Santam Insurance – www.santam.co.za

What and where to study

B.Com. or B.Sc. degree in Agricultural Economy, or B.Com. degree in Economy or Commerce, including CA level. Charted Accountants often find lucrative and rewarding careers as Financial Managers, Chief Financial Officers or Managing Directors in the agricultural environment. Candidates with B.Sc. Actuarial Sciences and B.Com. Risk management degrees will find it useful in the crop insurance. Most leading South African universities offer these courses.

Career Paths

Agricultural Economist
Agricultural risk assessor
Agri-banker
Insurance Agent
Financial Adviser
Financial Management on Operational Level
Marketing, key account, trading (retail and export)

What it is

Marketing deals with promoting the company’s product or products to either commercial clients or the general public. A key account manager will typically manage accounts of commercial clients. A trader will be involved with procurement and selling of products/commodities, to either local wholesale/retail or export customers.

What and where to study

A B.Com. Marketing or BSc Agric degree in discipline of interest or BSc Consumer Science, supported by additional qualifications/experience in the agricultural or commercial sector. B.Com graduates can acquire additional qualifications in agriculture/food, while the BSc Agric graduate can obtain a qualification in a commercial field of study, i.e. B.Com or IMM (Institute of Marketing Management) www.immgsm.ac.za

Career Paths

Key Accounts Manager
Marketing Manager
Export and Import Trader
Retail Buyer
Social Media Marketer
Client Relations Officer
Communication, public relations, journalism

What is Communication and public relations

Communication and public relations are useful tools to improve and maintain the public image of a business or company and to ensure transparency for clients. Public relations officers strive to encourage and facilitate communication between companies and their clients, as well as to promote their products without paid advertisement.

Agri-Journalism focuses on communication with the industry, as well as bridging the gap between the agricultural sector and the public, where articles improve the general public’s understanding of agriculture. An agricultural communicator needs a level of specialized knowledge in the agricultural industry, as well as good interpersonal skills as this field spans from scientists to farmers to consumers, and all professions within the supply chain.

Science Writing: Science writing is writing about scientific subjects in a non-technical way, or reporting on scientific observations and results. Science writing is meant for a general audience, accessible to all levels of knowledge and understanding, for non-experts and “non-scientists”. Click here for more information (external link)

Career Paths

Accounts Manager

Managing Accounts

Public Relations Officer

Managing reputation

Agricultural Journalist

Covers all the events, articles of interest and stories which are relevant to farmers and others in their area.

Agricultural Communicator

Focuses on communication about agriculture-related information among agricultural stakeholders

Promoter

Promoting events

Helpful Links

What and where to study

BA (Communication), BA (Public Relations), BA (Journalism), or BSc and BSc Agric. It involves integration of scientific, agricultural or technical knowledge and good writing skills. Most universities in South Africa offer the courses as mentioned.

Education and Training

What it is: Education and training

Education and training are necessary on secondary (Agricultural schools) and tertiary (Universities and Colleges) educational level. Teachers and lectures are responsible for creating interest in agriculture, helping school learners and students to gain knowledge on agriculture and agricultural practices. People with a passion for teaching and agriculture will find this a very rewarding career.

What and where to study: Any agricultural or B.Sc. degree at the Universities of Pretoria, Stellenbosch, Free State, Natal, Fort Hare, Venda and The North, supplemented with a HED (Higher Education Diploma), or a B.Ed. degree specialising in Sciences (or Agricultural Sciences).

Examples of Agricultural Training Institutes and Schools:
Elsenburg Agricultural Training Institute – www.elsenburg.co.za
Hoërskool Bekker (Agricultural school) – www.hsbekker.co.za
Boland Landbouskool – www.bolandlandbou.co.za
Oakdale Agricultural School – www.oakdale.co.za

Career paths:

Agricultural Science Teacher

Teaching Science when it matters

Agricultural Science Lecturer

Teaching Science where it matters

Energy, biofuel and alternative energy

What it is

Alternative sources for energy are becoming more and more important. Where energy and agriculture overlap, many new opportunities arise, especially concerning biofuels (fuel made renewably with plants or bacteria). Wind and solar farms are increasing in popularity, and with them the amount of jobs in that industry. Since the agricultural industry is more dependent on the environment than other industries, environmental issues are of the utmost importance, thus alternative energy sources are widely being implemented on smaller scale at individual farms or companies.

What and where to study: Degrees or diplomas at Universities of Technology like TUT, CPUT or CUT, with apprenticeships at various renewable energy institutions such as the South African Renewable Energy Technology Centre (SARETEC).

Helpful Links

SARETEC – www.saretec.org.za
Centre of New Energy Systems (CNES) at the University of Pretoria – www.up.ac.za
Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies (CRSES) at the University of Stellenbosch – www.crses.sun.ac.za

Career paths:

Technician

Specialising in either Solar or Wind energy

Engineer

Electrical or Electronic Engineer

Engineering

Engineering in Agriculture combines the disciplines of mechanical, civil, industrial & systems engineering, electrical and chemical engineering principles with the knowledge of agricultural technology and practices. The application of Agricultural, Industrial, Mechanical, Civil, Electronic and Chemical Engineers in Agriculture have increased substantially during the past decades.
Environmental Engineering is a post-graduate specialization field of study involving protection of human health and infrastructure from environmental risks and implementation of sustainable production practices that will not harm, but improve the environment.
Universities in South Africa with Engineering Faculties:
Universities of Pretoria
Stellenbosch
North West
Witwatersrand
Cape Town
KwaZulu-Natal
Universities of Technology: Tshwane
Cape Peninsula, Durban
Agricultural Engineering can only be studied at University of KwaZulu Natal.
Bio-engineering will also increasingly become important, as it involves the application of principles of biology and the tools of engineering to create tangible, economically viable and sustainable products. Bio-engineering overlaps with biotechnology and biomedical sciences.
Industrial & Systems Engineering is about the optimization of complex processes, systems, or organizations, by developing, improving and implementing integrated systems of people, production, information, equipment, energy and materials.

Industrial & Systems Engineering solutions:
Organizational Development International (ODI) is a globally represented company, focusing on operational excellence through training and strengthening of internal capability of operational excellence.

Environmental and natural resources (soil, water)

Natural resources used in agriculture, most importantly water and soil, but also other factors, must be protected and preserved to ensure the continued success of the industry. A farm’s impact on repeated soil use, and the amount of water used or polluted, for example, are important factors when looking at the environmental sustainability of said farm.

Career Paths in Soil Science

Soil Science
Soil Scientist, Agronomy Advisor, Technical Sales, Agricultural In-put Marketing

Where can I study Soil Science?

What is Soil Science?

Soil science is the science focussing on soils as a natural resource on the surface of the Earth including soil formation, classification, mapping, and the physical, chemical, biological and fertility properties of soils, and application and management of the soils.

What is Hydrology?

Soil science is the science focussing on soils as a natural resource on the surface of the Earth including soil formation, classification, mapping, and the physical, chemical, biological and fertility properties of soils, and application and management of the soils.

Where to study Hydrology?

University of Cape Town, Stellenbosch, Pretoria, Free State, North West, Johannesburg

Career Paths in Hydrology

Sciences

Hydrologists, laboratory technicians, climatologists, microbiologists, bio-technologists, chemists, geologists, statisticians, hydro-geologists, geomorphologists, botanists, ecologists

Engineering
Agricultural, civil, environmental, hydraulic
Technical/Practical
Fitters & turners, boilermakers, plumbers, draftsmen, engineering technicians
Medical
Specialists in water-borne diseases

What is Environmental Science?

Environmental Science is the study of environmental systems and the impact of human development and industry on the environment. Impact studies are necessary when considering the environmental effects of agricultural activities. An Environmental scientist will do these impact studies and recommend changes to these agricultural activities to ensure environmental protection.

Where to study Environmental Science?

A 3-year B.Sc. Environmental Science degree is usually not sufficient. Better options include a 3-year B.Sc. Soil science or Hydrology degree, or BSc Agric degree in field of specialization of preference, followed by post-graduate studies in Environmental Sciences. All leading South African universities offer these courses.

Helpful links:
Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA) – www.wessa.org.za
Earthlife Africa  – www.earthlife.org.za

Career Paths in Hydrology

Environmental Engineer
An expert who helps minimize and manage waste and pollution, protecting the air, water, soil, and ourselves from harmful chemicals
Environmental Lawyer
Works to represent clients in legal issues such as in clean technology, water law and climate change law
Hydrologist
Scientist who researches the distribution, circulation and physical properties of underground and surface waters
Soil Scientist
Studies the physical and chemical properties of soil
Agriculturist
Concerned with the science or art or business of cultivating soil

Equipment manufacturing and maintenance

What it is

Commercial agricultural activities make intense use of mechanical and electronic equipment in order to be productive. Maintenance is necessary to ensure continuous productivity of the farming, processing or packing operation. The agricultural implement manufacturing industry also requires designers and producers of this equipment to supply the growing demand for mechanized farming. Examples of equipment used include tractors, balers, planters, combine harvesters, machine saws, irrigation systems, packing equipment etc.

What and where to study

Typically, a University of Technology degree in Engineering can be applied for technical jobs, especially when supplemented with additional qualifications in agricultural related fields. Apprenticeships in specialised fields enabling maintenance of equipment can also be valuable. Concerning equipment design, a mechanical engineering degree would be ideal.

Career Paths in Hydrology

Maintenance Technician
Equipment Designer
Equipment Tester
Equipment Technician
Tractor Mechanic
Equipment Salesman
Research & development

What it is

Research and Development (abbreviated as R&D) is the process of searching for new ways to improve agricultural practices, ranging from improving yields, to the environmental impact and water consumption of crops. R&D is as broad as the agricultural sector itself, since every field has room for research and improvement. Most R&D is done by academic or research institutions, however R&D is done in-house, on a commercial scale, by private companies. Companies invest heavily in R&D for product development and market expansion.

What and where to study

Any appropriate degree in the field of interest, followed by additional specialisation on Honour’s and Master’s levels.

Helpful Links

Council for Scientific and Industrial Research – www.csir.co.za
Agricultural Research Council – www.arc.agric.za

Career Paths

Lab Scientist
Product Developer
Researcher
Quality assurance & food safety

What it is

Quality assurance is the maintenance of a desired level of quality in a product, by making sure each stage of production meets the appropriate requirements. Food safety describes what level of quality is required with food preparation, handling and storage, to ensure food-borne illnesses are not present. These are important regulations to the agriculture industry and when companies do not comply to these regulations, they often do not pass their audits, leading to damage to sales and the brand name.

What and where to study

Tertiary qualification in Food technology, Food Science, Public Health or Quality at South African tertiary institutions

Helpful Links

South African Association for Food Science and Technology – SAAFoST www.saafost.org.za
South African National Accreditation System – SANAS www.sanas.co.za

Career Paths

Quality Assurance/Technical Manager
Food Safety Officer
Quality Control Officer
Food Safety Systems Manager

 Technical support, extension

What it is

Technical support is specialised advice and consulting given to clients. Technical support and advice are therefore required in most fields of the agricultural sector. Extension is the process of providing education and knowledge to farmers, in order to assist them with specific problems they might be experiencing during the production process.

What and where to study

Preferably a B.Sc. degree in Agriculture, with good communication and inter-personal skills.

Career Paths

Technical Consultant
Technical Advisor
Extension Officer
Conservation Ecology

Entomology

Horticultural Science